Metro spoke with Laurie Puhn, couples mediator + author of “Fight Less, Love More.”
Our poll showed many men would take back a cheating woman, but women would kick a cheating man out. Why do you think men were more forgiving overall?
Because they are more likely to cheat, as research has shown. They are therefore going to be more understanding if their partner cheats. They know how it can happen. They are familiar with the instinct of desiring the unknown woman down the hall.
Are men possibly more emotionally dependant than women?
Not necessarily. Women initiate two-thirds of divorces in the United States. They are more willing to try their luck with another guy than men are with new women. More men would rather not go through the whole process of developing another serious relationship and potentially having more children or step-children. Just the idea of all that effort is more exhausting than staying in a less-than-perfect marriage.
So they’re just desperate to hold on to someone, because it’s hard to meet women?
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Men are more desperate to hold on to their women because they know that all women take work. The attitude is, why leave one woman for another who will also eventually require tremendous effort?
Often, when someone learns of an infidelity, they ask, “Did you sleep with them?” Why does sex carry such weight?
Men care more about the line between hooking up and having sex because not sleeping with someone (when you have the option) requires restraint. Women don’t care about that line. If a husband spends a night talking and making out with a women (but no sex), that is just as bad as having sex.